Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My new Logo -- at Last!

Well, it's been a long haul, trying to figure out what to use for my company logo. I knew I wanted California poppies but I didn't know whether I wanted a drawing, a photograph, or what. After many false starts and frustrations, I finally come up with a design that I love. It is a line drawing with a water-color wash behind it, and I love it. And it only took 11 months to design it!

You may have already noticed this new logo in my "blinkie" which you can now see on this blog (take a peek at the upper right-hand corner). You'll be seeing a lot more of it as I incorporate it into my website, business cards, stationery, address labels, brochures, newsletter, and other advertising materials. Orange and green are my two favorite colors (even my cats are orange) and California poppies are one of my favorite flowers (it's also California's state flower) so I think it's the perfect logo for me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Split Photo Frame

A quick layout I made this evening (thanks to Club Scrap for the stitches!), just to try out my new split photo frame. I saw a photo frame like this created by a digital designer, and I even purchased & downloaded it, but then when I read the TOU I found it was for personal use only and absolutely no commercial use was allowed. This is a never-ending frustration for me!

You see, I had my heart set on using a frame like this for a light-hearted layout I was putting together for a client. Usually, I will contact the designer of the element I want to use and ask permission to use it commerically. It can take several days for a reply, and even then it's often "No," or I have to pay an additional amount for commercial use which I'm willing to do but that also takes more time. Since I was in an impatient mood I decided to try my hand at reverse-engineering and create my own in PhotoShop CS3. It took several hours, and some backing up and doing things over a few times, but I finally did it! And now I have a split photo frame that I can use commercially. So I'm very pleased with this afternoon's work. Plus, I became just that little bit more proficient in PhotoShop.

I thought of offering this as a freebie, but I don't want to undercut any sales that designer Amy Leigh Fennel (find her at might make on her own split frame, especially since mine is very, very similar. So if you'd like to use an element like this you can get Amy's here and for only $2.00, and for that $2.00 you will actually get TWO split-frames!

Here is the photo I wanted to use the split photo frame with. Isn't it adorable? I just love it.
Obviously, this is not a finished layout, but it will be, and soon, now that I have the split photo frame!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Animated Digital Scrapbook Layout

Tracy of Latte' Dah Designs has such a cute animated layout on her blog that I wanted to give it a try. I followed the same tutorial she did at -- "Creating a Layout with Animation." Here's my final result. Tracy's is animated as soon as you open her blog; mine, you have to click on it, it opens in a new window and the animation starts.
Patterned paper, frosty frame, and snowflakes by Michelle Coleman of Little Dreamer Designs.
CLICK on the layout to see the animation!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Awesome Digi-Scrapper Found!

I'm always on the lookout for new on-line friends, people with things in common with me, and even better if they can teach me new things! I found just such a person; or should I say, she found me?? She left me a comment on an earlier post in this blog, on Dec. 7, 2007, which I just found yesterday (I need to figure out how to receive auto-notification when someone leaves a comment). I always, always check out any commenter's blog and oh, did I find a treasure trove!

The blog is Above is the banner that is on her blog. She is a digital scrapper, and it's fascinating to follow her progress from her first digi-layout to the various different techniques she's learning, to her successes in becoming a creative team member at a scrapbook design site. I won't go into the details of all that because you can read her blog for yourself. I read through the entire thing and enjoyed every post. She's definitely creating some awesome layouts and tags and I can easily see her designing her own kits someday; I only hope she will allow commercial use because I really want to use her designs in the layouts I create for my customers!

She has even started offering some freebies; Quick Page templates that I have downloaded and fully intend to use in my own personal layouts. They are adorable!

If you love looking at creative digital scrapbook layouts, check her out!

Monday, February 18, 2008

February Freebies

Better late than never! Here are the freebies for February. Get them here by clicking on the picture, or get them at my website:

"Hearts" template; download this template, pop it into your Photoshop program and make whatever changes you like to color, size, title, etc. Add two photos of someone special and you're done!
February calendar page freebie; a bit late, but if you like it download it anyway -- you've still got a couple weeks (plus an extra day this year for Leap Year!) to enjoy it.

Check back often!! More freebies for March will appear soon! Happy scrapping!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Photo Enhancements

This is Scout, my little female orange tabby, who loves to help me sew. (For more photos of Scout during the construction of a "ragged" baby quilt for my niece, click here). I love this photo; however, the original version of the photo was a bit "washed out" (see below):

The original photo is nice . . . but the colors are just a tad washed out, whether from the light coming in the dining room window, or perhaps my camera settings were not perfect. Whatever the reason I was a teensy bit disappointed so I turned to PhotoShop CS3.

I only needed to do a little bit of color correction to add more vibrancy to the colors in Scout's coat and eyes, and in the fabric behind her. Much more true to life. Then, since it was so easy, I decided to make Scout's eyes a little more green by changing the hue just a bit and increasing the saturation. The result is a more striking photo.

I'd love to know what you think! Please leave a comment or email me at

I can do this type of thing for you, too! If you have a very special photo that just needs a little boost, send it to me. I'll call you and we can discuss what kind of improvements I can make. It's amazing what a little color correction, cropping, removal of distracting backgrounds, and "healing" blemishes and wrinkles will do for your pictures.

Contact me today! Email me as above or call toll-free (866) 521-DIGI (3444).